We officially started our fundraising efforts to build Reese’s House, featuring a collaboration with Wildflower Vegan Cafe, last December. We had a deadline to raise the down payment for the building, about $30,000, by March. Within the span of 3 months, we had collected over $26,000 from small donors, local businesses, and people in our area who saw the immense need for a space like Reese’s House. We were able to secure an extension from the sellers of the building as well, which gave us more time to fundraise. As of today, we have been blessed to raise $28,751!

Over the last several weeks, we have been working diligently to find additional funding to help us secure the mortgage. Unfortunately, this has been more difficult than we were expecting. We thought we had everything arranged with one lending institution, but that was not the case. To make it easier to obtain a mortgage, we have been working to bring some of our programs into schools and other organizations, but that has also been more difficult because of the pandemic.

While the dream of a large building like what we planned for Reese’s House is the ultimate goal, we must be realistic with our expectations. Without securing contracts for our programs or increased donations and grants (we have applied for many!) to help offset the purchase price, we are not going to be able to get approved for a mortgage for this particular building. We are still very interested in this space and are pursuing the opportunity, but we also have to be mindful of other possibilities to serve our community.

We have recently started looking at other buildings in our area that might not be on the same scale in size, but can offer us a lower price to make for a simpler purchase. We are also examining the idea of purchasing space that includes rental units. This would provide a home for our operations and programs while creating affordable housing for young adults in our community that would also help offset our expenses.

We are doing everything we can to be creative and think outside of the box to make Reese’s House a reality. We’re very excited for what the future holds and assure you that we are still moving forward in our efforts to create a safe space in our area for teens and young adults. Without the help of our donors and community members, we would not be in this position. We cannot thank you enough for your continued support and generosity! Rest assured that every dollar that has been donated for Reese’s House will be used specifically for our space.

I know that it has been a while since we have provided updates, but the past few months have been challenging for the individuals in our organization. We have been faced with medical emergencies and surgeries, both personally and in our families, major life-changing events, trying times with our regular jobs, and working to maintain a healthy life balance. Everybody that works for Our Future First is a volunteer and we collectively thank you for your patience and understanding.

If you would like to get involved with our efforts, have suggestions or questions, want to learn more about our programming options, or anything else, please reach out to me directly. Feel free to send me an email (Sean@ourfuturefirst.org) and I will be in touch soon.

Thank you!

Sean Thom, Executive Director